Most of the time you think of beekeepers as living out on large farms, tending to their hives with crazy hazmat-style suits on. With the Philips Urban Beehive, you can become your own beekeeper — with the bees living inside your own house. This stylish concept consists of two parts: an entry passage and flower pot that sits outdoors, and a glass shell inside. The tinted glass shell filters light to let through the orange wavelength the bees use for sight, and holds an array of honeycomb frames inside. When it's time to harvest some honey, just pull on the smoke actuator chain and grab some out while the bees are happily sedated.
Sprinkler systems are great when you live in a hot and/or dry climate where your lawn doesn't get much in the way of rain — but most systems still run even if you do get the occasional shower. The Skydrop Sprinkler Controller won't. Thanks to its built-in Wi-Fi connection, it syncs up with a cloud service and adjusts its watering schedule based on current local weather conditions. As you might imagine, it also makes it possible to manage your system from your phone, tablet, or laptop, keeping you informed while saving you money and conserving water.
With Lockitron finally hitting doorsteps in July and the Kevo heralding the big-name lockmakers' entrance into the market, it seems 2013 will be quite the year for smart locks — and the August Smart Lock ($200) is the sleekest one we've seen yet. Designed by Yves Behar, the August is a simple anodized aluminum circle that installs over the interior portion of your existing deadbolt, and uses LED indicators and open/close chimes to let you know its status. As for its smart credentials, it uses a combination of Bluetooth, an app, and encrypted locking technology to let you open the door automatically and ensure that anyone who needs access can get it while those who don't, can't.
We've seen add-ons for locks to try and make them smarter, but it's about time the locks themselves gained some intelligence. Kevo ($220) is the first we've seen. This smart deadbolt uses Bluetooth 4.0, your iPhone, and a companion app to let you open your door using nothing but your finger. A ring around the lock lights up blue when it senses your presense, and turns to green once you've unlocked your door. The set also includes a wireless keyfob that offers the same functionality, and should you need to resort to old-school ways, it'll still open with a standard key, as well. Coming this summer.
Alarm systems are great and all, but if you really want to scare any prospective robber away as possible, install a Burglar Blaster ($600). This self-contained, battery-powered unit is simple to install, and uses a passive infrared detection system to sense when an intruder is near. After the set entry time delay, it blasts four ounces of irritating OC pepper spray into the surrounding area, virtually guaranteeing a quick retreat for anyone in its path. Good for up to 2,000 square feet, it's likely more than enough to protect your home — but if you feel the need for extra firepower, step up to the Decintegrator, which fires out six times as much of the nasty stuff.
Spring is on its way, so what better time to start livening up your living space with some actual living things? The Woolly Pocket ($27) is a stylish wall planter that makes it quick and easy to add real plants to any semi-sunny spot in your home. Made from BPA-free recycled plastic, the planter features a self-watering 1.5L reservoir with easy access watering holes that attaches directly to the wall. Once it's in place, you can plant your plant your planter in the patented vented shell and hang it on the reservoir — making it nearly impossible to kill your plant as long as you remember to water regularly.
Not looking forward to grass mowing season? Do away with the chore altogether and install some Turf Pro Grass ($7/sq. ft.). Available in a variety of colors and textures, it's safe for humans and pets, is easy to clean and maintain, and has a life expectancy of 20 years. But best of all, it keeps you from needing to weed, mow, fertilize, water, or otherwise tend to that filthy stuff that grows from the dirt.
You can pay for your coffee, turn off your lights, control your TV, and start your car with your smartphone — so why can't you unlock your doors? That's exactly what Lockitron ($150) does. This sleek box slips over the inside of most deadbolt locks, and sports built-in Wi-Fi to let you check on the status of and lock/unlock your door from afar. You can also add family and friends as guests to share access, but we're most excited about the Bluetooth 4 integration, which means it can sense your iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 and unlock the door automatically without you ever having to do a thing. [Thanks, John]
Forget the Febreze — if you're looking to add an air of manliness to your surroundings, bust out a can of Archer Air Superiority ($14). It comes in three sufficiently masculine scents — distillery, which offers notes of charred oak, bourbon, and sour mash, hunting lodge, with scents of stone, gun powder, and timber, and european sports car, which smells of leather, aftershave, and horsepower. Expelled from its stylishly simple can using an eco-friendly nitrogen-based propellant, its the perfect antidote for your average fresh/floral room spray.
Need to hook your house key to something other than a keyring? Grab yourself a Keybrid Carabiner Key ($TBA). This unique item is completely functional, letting you clip it onto shoelaces, belt loops, and a whole host of other loop-like stuff, in addition to keychains and keyrings. Arrives blank, so plan on making a trip to the hardware store before use.
Lawn-mowing season is upon us, and if you'd rather not spend your free time this summer keeping your yard in check, let the LawnBott SpyderEvo ($1,725) do it for you. This semi-automatic mower uses perimeter wire and internal sensors to handle pretty much any yard up to 10,000 sq. ft., automatically recharges itself using the optional docking station, offers four-wheel drive to manage slopes up to 27 degrees, is virtually silent, and runs up to 3.5 hours a time on a single charge of its Li-ion battery.
Having trouble deciding where to put your outdoor lighting? How about inside your outdoor furniture? Chester Lit Outdoor Furniture ($800-$1,250) lets you do exactly that, by providing an opening on the bottom for the insertion of included light fixtures, adding a soft glow to the classic tufted, rounded Chesterfield design.